Ducks Smoke Blount: Why Oregon Made the Right Call To Ban Its Top Running Back

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst ISeptember 5, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 30:   Runningback LeGarrette Blount #9 of the University of Oregon Ducks hurdles a player en route to a touchdown during his team's 42-31 win over the Oklahoma State University Cowboys in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on December 30, 2008 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

The University of Oregon announced Friday it had suspended senior running back LeGarrette Blount for the remainder of the season, including a potential bowl game.

The suspension ends Blount's college career, since this was his last year of eligibility.

The Ducks' (now former) starting running back was expected to have a huge senior season. He rushed for 1,002 yards and 17 touchdowns last year—his first in Eugene.

Blount was named to the Doak Walker watch list during the summer. The Doak Walker award goes to the nation's best running back.

You can toss that and his aspirations for the NFL out the window after seeing him throw and land a punch on the jaw of Boise State defensive end Byron Hout after the conclusion of the Broncos' 19-8 home victory over the Ducks earlier this week, then proceed to shove his own teammate and attempt to take on a group of jeering fans.

Yes, it is clear that Hout provoked Blount by tapping him on the shoulder and verbally taunting him, but Blount's actions clearly crossed the line.

Blount should have expected a little bit of trash talking to come his way. Before the game, he was quoted in a Boise newspaper saying that his Ducks "owed the Broncos a (butt) whoopin'," after last season's 37-32 loss to Boise State in Eugene.

The University of Oregon's decision to suspend Blount is right for a few reasons.

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For one, this was already Blount's second chance. He was suspended by the team during spring practices this past offseason.

Everyone should be afforded a second chance, but not necessarily third and fourth chances.

Secondly, if not for the restraint shown by the half-dozen or so Broncos that surrounded Hout, this could have turned into Miami-FIU Pt. 2. This could have easily turned into a 200-man melee and Blount would have understandably received the lions' share of the blame.

Lastly, Blount's ballistic reaction after being taunted by the home fans was maniacal. The scene in Boise could have gotten even uglier had police and coaches not restrained a volatile Blount and prevented him from going Ron Artest on the crowd.

While Blount's NFL dreams are likely over, he should be grateful that the University of Oregon is allowing him to remain on scholarship.

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